NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – DeMarco Murray ran for a 71-yard touchdown and rookie Derrick Henry also scored and the Tennessee Titans’ new-look rushing attack delivered an impressive debut Saturday in a 27-10 preseason victory over the San Diego Chargers.
Murray, seeking a new start in Tennessee after struggling with Chip Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia last season, had six carries for 93 yards. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama, had 10 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota played three series and went 5 of 5 for 45 yards, including a 31-yarder to rookie Tajae Sharpe. The Titans had a field goal on Mariota’s first series and capped his final drive with Murray’s touchdown.
Murray credited receivers Dorial Green-Beckham and Harry Douglas for delivering quality blocks on his big run. Murray easily broke safety Adrian Phillips’ attempted tackle on his way to the end zone.
Murray rushed for an NFL-leading 1,845 yards with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014, but flopped last season after the Eagles signed him to a five-year, $40 million contract with $21 million guaranteed. Murray averaged 3.6 yards per carry and was benched late in the season.
The Titans acquired Murray by swapping fourth-round picks with the Eagles and giving him a new contract.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played just one series and connected with Melvin Gordon on a 44-yard touchdown.
Rivers was 2 of 3 for 64 yards. After overthrowing Isaiah Burse deep, Rivers delivered a 20-yard completion to Keenan Allen on third-and-15. On the next play, Gordon caught a pass around the Tennessee 40 before running into the end zone.
Chargers: Kellen Clemens and Zach Mettenberger are competing for the backup quarterback spot. Clemens played most of the first half and went 9 of 16 for 96 yards. Mettenberger entered in the second half and was 2 of 8 for 22 yards with an interception.
Titans: Brian Schwenke, listed on the depth chart as the Titans’ second-team center, got some reps at left guard with the rest of the first-team offensive line during the second quarter. The Titans’ first-team left guard Saturday was Quinton Spain, who started Tennessee’s final six games last season. … The acquisitions of Murray and Henry leave 2014 second-round pick Bishop Sankey’s roster spot in doubt. Sankey had a 41-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Chargers: Tight end Hunter Henry, a second-round pick from Arkansas, had three catches for 43 yards.
Titans: Kevin Byard, a third-round selection from Middle Tennessee, picked off Mettenberger’s pass in the third quarter.
Chargers: Guard Orlando Franklin didn’t play after hurting his ankle in Thursday’s practice. Wide receivers Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams also didn’t play.
Titans: Sharpe was evaluated for a possible concussion late in the first quarter after catching two passes for 35 yards.